USA Basketball sets 33-player pool
If there's one thing that seems an infinitely renewable resource in the United States, it's basketball talent. Superstars age, but new ones are never far behind.
Six college players are among the 33-player pool released by USA Basketball on Monday that will be taken into consideration for the 2014 World Championship and 2016 Olympic teams.
While it's possible the pool might still expand or contract, these are the primary players who'll be under consideration.
Four of those college players will be showcased in Monday's matchup between No. 1 Connecticut and No. 7 Baylor (ESPN2 and WatchESPN, 7 p.m. ET). The Huskies' Breanna Stewart (sophomore), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (junior) and Stefanie Dolson (senior) are in the pool, as is Lady Bears senior Odyssey Sims.
Notre Dame's Kayla McBride and Maryland's Alyssa Thomas are two other college seniors in the pool. All six of those collegians participated in a USA Basketball training camp last October in Las Vegas.
Stanford senior Chiney Ogwumike -- a national player of the year candidate averaging 27.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game -- is noticeably absent. Ogwumike, whose older sister, Nneka Ogwumike is included in the player pool, did not attend last fall's training camp. At the time, she said she really wanted to focus on her school work.
The 33-player pool includes Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Tamika Catchings, (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun), Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx) and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty).
Other WNBA players included are Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky), Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), DeWanna Bonner (Phoenix Mercury), Glory Johnson (Tulsa Shock), Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks), Briann January (Indiana Fever), Lindsey Harding (Los Angeles Sparks), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars), Monica Wright (Minnesota Lynx) and Sophia Young (San Antonio Siver Stars).
Last week, Stewart was named USA Basketball female athlete of the year for 2013 after helping the U.S. squad win the U-19 world championship in July.
The United States has won gold the last five Olympic gold medals as well as three of the last four golds at the World Championship, which this year will be held in Turkey from Sept. 27-Oct. 5.
The 12-member U.S. team for the upcoming World Championship might not turn over a great deal from the group that went to the London Olympics in 2012, but it's possible one or two of the current collegians might be in the running for playing in Turkey.
There could be a shift in the makeup of the U.S. team for the 2016 Summer Games, however, as two point guards who were on the 2012 Olympic team -- Bird and Whalen -- will be 35 and 34, respectively, for the Rio Games and an understudy may be considered for the roster.